Ten-year follow-up study of islet-cell antibodies and childhood diabetes mellitus

Lancet. 1989 May 20;1(8647):1100-3. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(89)92383-0.


To find out whether subclinical autoimmunity precedes onset of nonfamilial insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), 4806 schoolchildren aged 5-19 years from a township in Holland were followed-up for at least ten years after blood was sampled for measurement of islet-cell antibodies (ICA). ICA positivity conferred a relative risk of IDDM of 533 (95% CI 145-1955). In the 10 years of follow-up 4 of the 8 ICA-positive subjects became insulin dependent, whereas the probability of being free of IDDM was 99.9% for those who were ICA-negative at the start of the study. The findings suggest that, although chronic autoimmunity involving the pancreatic beta-cells may precede non-familial IDDM by many years, a positive ICA test on a single occasion predicts the development of IDDM in only 4 out of 8 subjects over a period of 10 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Risk Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Autoantibodies
  • islet cell antibody